Wellington Firebirds bolster bowling with Black Caps quick Adam Milne

The Wellington Firebirds’ pace bowling stocks have been boosted by the addition of Black Caps quick Adam Milne.

Milne, who is based in Wellington, joins the Firebirds after 11 seasons with the Central Stags – headlining the first round of domestic cricket contracts for 2022-23 announced on Wednesday.

In other major moves already announced, Black Caps’ contracted players Glenn Phillips (Auckland to Otago) and Ish Sodhi (Northern to Canterbury) will also feature for new sides. Phillips will join younger brother Dale at the Volts.

Allrounder Jimmy Neesham, who missed out on a national contract, didn’t accept a contract with Wellington earlier this month. Neesham, who is based in Auckland, has indicated he could play white ball cricket for the Aces this summer, especially in the T20 Super Smash. He said he remained committed to playing for New Zealand in white ball cricket.

* By the numbers: How Kane Williamson and Joe Root’s records compare in tests
* Black Caps get Devon Conway, Michael Bracewell back for third test v England
* Michael Rippon gets Black Caps call-up as stars rested for white-ball tours

Milne will be targeting strong performances with his new side as he eyes selection for the T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November, and the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India.

The 30-year-old will work with new Firebirds’ white ball coach BJ Watling, who is stepping into the elite coaching ranks after retiring from the Black Caps after the World Test Championship final triumph last year.

Former Firebirds coach Bruce Edgar returns as director of cricket, and will coach the Plunket Shield first-class side.

Adam Milne will bolster Wellington's pace bowling after joining from the Central Stags.

Chris Symes/Photosport

Adam Milne will bolster Wellington’s pace bowling after joining from the Central Stags.

Milne’s signing boosts the Firebirds following the retirement of captain and senior pace bowler Hamish Bennett. He was part of the Black Caps’ side that reached the World Cup final in 2015 and the T20 World Cup final last year.

Milne broke back into the Black Caps last summer after strong showings in the Big Bash for the Sydney Thunder and in the Hundred for the Birmingham Phoenix, where he was the standout fast bowler in the competition with 12 wickets.

Wellington have also snapped up top order batter Nick Kelly from Otago after three seasons with the Volts.

Top order batter Nick Kelly joins Wellington after three seasons with Otago.

Joe Allison/Getty Images

Top order batter Nick Kelly joins Wellington after three seasons with Otago.

The left-hander boasts a first-class batting average of just over 35 and has three List A centuries and two first-class tons to his name – including an unbeaten 234 against Central last summer.

Meanwhile, allrounder Zak Foulkes, wicketkeeper-batter Mitch Hay and left-hand top order batter Matt Boyle all earned their first professional contracts for Canterbury.

Otago welcomed three new players to the contract group – Andrew Hazeldine (from Canterbury), Ben Lockrose, and Jacob Cumming – the son of former New Zealand opener Craig Cumming.

Glenn Phillips is heading south from Auckland, linking up with younger brother Dale at Otago.

Shane Wenzlick/Photosport

Glenn Phillips is heading south from Auckland, linking up with younger brother Dale at Otago.

Having missed the past two domestic seasons due to visa complications, South African-raised Dean Foxcroft returns to Otago after accepting a contract offer.

Allrounder Simon Keene earned his first domestic contract for Auckland after a stellar 2021-22 season for the Aces. Recently named Auckland’s young cricketer of the year, Keene lit up the domestic circuit and finished with 25 wickets in his first five first-class matches.

Brett Randell, the equal leading wicket-taker in the Plunket Shield last season, is swapping Northern for Central.

Joe Allison/Getty Images

Brett Randell, the equal leading wicket-taker in the Plunket Shield last season, is swapping Northern for Central.

Central Districts have added seamer Brett Randell from Northern, who was the equal leading wicket-taker in the Plunket Shield last summer with Wellington’s Nathan Smith, taking 31 wickets.

Northern Districts have a settled look to their list with ND young male player of the Year Tim Pringle awarded his first domestic contract after an impressive year.

Left-arm spinner, Pringle, the son of former New Zealand fast bowler Chris Pringle, was a key member for the Northern Districts A team and was selected for a NZ XI against the Netherlands.


First round of domestic contracts:

Auckland: Adithya Ashok, Cole Briggs, Mark Chapman, Louis Delport, Danru Ferns, Ryan Harrison, Ben Horne, Simon Keene, Ben Lister, Robert O’Donnell, Will O’Donnell, Sean Solia, Will Somerville, Ross ter Braak, George Worker.

Canterbury: Cole McConchie, Chad Bowes, Matt Boyle, Leo Carter, Sean Davey, Cam Fletcher, Zak Foulkes, Mitch Hay, Ken McClure, Ed Nuttall, Will O’Rourke, Fraser Sheat, Henry Shipley, Theo van Woerkom, Will Williams.

Central Districts: Doug Bracewell, Tom Bruce, Josh Clarkson, Dane Cleaver, Joey Field, Greg Hay, Jayden Lennox, Seth Rance, Brett Randell, Brad Schmulian, Ben Smith, Blair Tickner, Ray Toole, Bayley Wiggins.

Otago: Matt Bacon, Max Chu, Jacob Cumming, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Jake Gibson, Andrew Hazeldine, Ben Lockrose, Jarrod McKay, Travis Muller, Dale Phillips, Michael Rae, Michael Rippon, Hamish Rutherford.

Northern Districts: Joe Carter, Katene Clarke, Kristian Clarke, Henry Cooper, Matt Fisher, Zak Gibson, Brett Hampton, Scott Kuggeleijn, Bharat Popli, Tim Pringle, Jeet Raval, Tim Seifert, Fred Walker, Joe Walker, Anurag Verma.

Wellington: Finn Allen, Jakob Bhula, Luke Georgeson, Troy Johnson, Nick Kelly, Iain McPeake, Adam Milne, Ollie Newton, Rachin Ravindra, Tim Robinson, Ben Sears, Michael Snedden, Nathan Smith, Logan Van Beek, Peter Younghusband.

Black Caps’ contracted list for 2022-23: Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.